EXTRACTS FROM THIS WEEK’S “PUNCH.”
NECK DEUS INTERSIT. – The American war is now virtually over, and we can only ask why it was not put a stop to sooner. The Senate has stepped in at last, and effectually finished the business by a simple enactment. All the Confederates were to lay down their arms in sixty days, and all who did not were to be hanged as rebels. The Federal government has but to carry out this law, and there is an end of the struggle. How very odd that nobody thought of it earlier! However, never too late to mend the Union, even with a rope.
He that fights and recedes for a strategic reason,
May live to fight another season.
P.S. Yes, Sir.
Title:Yankeedom to England
Publication:The Bolton Chronicle
Date:2nd August 1862
This poem taken from Punch contains several interesting elements, not least in its introductory assertion that the American war is ‘now virtually over’ (it was to continue for almost another three years). It begins with the cod-Latin phrase ‘NECK DEUS INTERSIT’, referring to an adage which translates as ‘God does not intervene’. The poem has bitter tone, and is spoken in the voice of a taunting American, with a typically Punchian ironically bad attempt to depict the accent. The piece accuses the English of being afraid to intervene on behalf of the Confederacy, despite the snubs of the Union, and reflects the tensions following the Trent Affair. The last stanza refers directly to the Cotton Famine and has the American voice mocking British workers’ misfortune. – SR